Archive for the ‘Charm Necklace’ Category

January Birthstone Charms And Pendants – Garnet

Tuesday, January 17th, 2012

The birthstone for January is Garnet in pretty much every tradition except for the mystical where it is Emerald (more on Emeralds in a separate post). Garnet is also the anniversary gemstone for the second and sixth year of marriage, the zodiac birthstone for Capricorn and Aquarius, and the planetary stone for Pluto.

I love the brilliant sparkle of garnets (it also happens to be my birthstone), and I’m not the only one. They have been popular for thousands of years (even though many of the varieties we talk about here have been found in the past century), both as adornment and as protective talismans. Legend has it that Noah put a garnet in a lantern to light his way in the night, and the ancient Egyptians, Greeks and Romans all used them in jewelry.

As usual, if you want to skip the text and go straight to the featured charms and pendants, just scroll down to the end of the post.

Garnet Healing Properties

In crystal healing, garnets in general are connected to the sacral chakra and are believed to help with the reproductive system and PMS, boost passion for life, charisma, creativity and libido, stabilize emotions, combat negativity and feelings of inferiority, inspire love, bring luck, success and protection. (There is more on the specific properties for each type of garnet in the descriptions below).

Physical Properties of Garnets

Garnet is most often thought of as a red gemstone (indeed the word “garnet” is often used to describe deep red items), but the fact is that garnets come in many different colors, each with its own name and properties.

Garnets are a family of silicates with basically the same crystal structure, and the variations in color are due to different chemical compositions.  There is a lot of overlapping between the different types, and trade names abound. Even the experts sometimes disagree on what’s what, but everyone agrees that there are two main groups – Ugrandite and Pyralspite – which each include three “main species”.

Simply put, the Ugrandites are calcium silicates and include Andradite (iron), Grossular (aluminum) and Uvarovite (chromium) garnets. The Pyralspites are aluminum silicates and include Almandine (iron), Pyrope (magnesium), and Spessartite (manganese) garnets. Each of these “main species” have several “sub”-varieties which are usually a blend of two or more of the main types. The colors vary depending on the balance of the blend, and unlike many other gemstones, they are never treated, so what you see is what nature actually created. Good job, nature! 🙂

Almandine Garnets

Almandine Garnet is a deep purple or brownish red. It is an abundant and affordable stone, the most common of the garnets. It is thought to help the wearer focus, increase productivity, and promote stamina. The Almandine family also includes:

Rhodolite Garnets, a blend of Almandine and Pyrope. The name comes from the Greek and means “rose stone”, and these very pretty pink garnets come in many shades from light pink to purple. They were first discovered in North Carolina in the late 1800s, but today they are mainly mined in India and Africa. It is a fairly abundant and affordable variety. The most sought after (and most expensive) color is Raspberry pink. Rhodolites are believed to help with frigidity, stabilize the metabolism, and enhance inspiration and intuition.

Mozambique Garnets. Also a mix of Almandine and Pyrope, and very similar to Rhodolites, but a bit darker and more on the red side. Widely available and affordable.

Umbalite Garnets are a blend of Almandine and Pyrope with a little bit of Spessartite mixed in, resulting in a purplish pink stone, ranging from light to dark fuchsia. It is really a variety of Rhodolite named for the location where it is mined (the Umba Valley of Tanzania). Pretty rare and sought after, they can be on the expensive side.

Star Garnets (also known as Asteriated Almandine) are such a dark red they almost look black. It is the state gemstone of Idaho (where, in addition to India, they are mined) and they get their name from rutile needles (mineral “straws” running through the stone), which create a star-like effect known as asterism. The most common is a four-ray pattern, but they are also found with six rays (supposedly in Idaho only). They are always cabochon cut, and fairly affordable.

Pyrope Garnets

The Pyrope garnet family includes Rhodolite, Mozambique, Umbalite (all described above), and of course Pyrope. Pyropes (also known as Bohemian garnets) are those deep blood red stones that people usually think of when hearing the word garnet. They were extremely popular during the Victorian era and are often found in antique jewelry. Today however, they have faded from fame, and are consequently very affordable.

Andradite Garnets

This rarest and most expensive family of garnets include Demantoid, Mali, Melanite, Topazolite and Rainbow garnets.

Demantoid Garnet is the star of the Andradite family and comes in a variety of green hues, from pale peridot-like yellow-green to intense, deep emerald-like hues. The stone, one of Karl Fabergé’s favorites, was first discovered in the mid 1800s and is the rarest, most brilliant, and most expensive of all the garnets (generally, the darker the green and the clearer the stone, the more expensive it is). Demantoid garnets are believed to boost vitality and alleviate fear, insecurity and feelings of loneliness.

Mali Garnet (sometimes called Grandite), a mix of andradite and Grossular garnet, was discovered in Mali in 1994. This beautiful brilliant yellow-green (and many shades thereof) stone is very rare and consequently expensive.

The dramatic black opaque Melanite get its color from titanium (it is also sometimes referred to as Black Andradite Garnet or Titanian Andradite). It is common, very popular in jewelry, and inexpensive. Melanite is thought to remove energy blockages, enhance relationships and remove anger, distrust, envy and jealousy.

The yellow Topazolite is named for its similarity (in color) to topaz, and comes in hues ranging from yellow-green to darker brownish amber yellow. It is rarely found in pieces large enough to use in jewelry. It is believed to help stabilize spiritual and emotional turbulence and protect frail people and young children.

Rainbow garnet is a dark brown (with an orange tint) iridescent Andradite first discovered in Japan in 2004 (now also mined in Mexico and New Mexico). It is among the most rare of all the garnets and you don’t see it a whole lot in jewelry.

Grossular Garnets

The Grossular Garnet family has quite a wide color range and includes Tsavorite, Hessonite,  Merelani Mint, Rosolite, Leuco and Hydrogrossular garnets. In crystal healing, Grossular garnets are thought to help with emotional trauma and promote peace and tranquility, both externally and internally.

The intensely green Tsavorite Garnet, ranging in hues from bright yellow green to deep, almost bluish green, was first discovered by Scottish geologist Campbell Bridges in Tanzania in 1967. Tsavorite was eventually brought to the US where Tiffany & Co’s Henry Platt gave it its name and started promoting it. It is a rare and difficult stone to mine, but in spite of that, less expensive than emeralds. It is, however, the second most expensive of the garnets, and prices for “perfect” stones equal those of Demantoid. Tsavorite is connected to the heart chakra and is thought to help with inflammatory diseases (like rheumatism and arthritis), kidney function and boost the immune system.

Merelani Mint Garnets are “cousins” of Tsavorites and get their name (Merelani) from the area in Tanzania where they were first discovered. Also a brilliant, sparkling green, but lighter in hue (mint green), these garnets are rare and expensive.

Hessonite Garnet ranges in color from almost clear to warm golden yellow, orange and brownish orange red and is also known as the Cinnamon Stone. It has been used in jewelry for thousands of years, particularly in carved pieces like intaglios and cameos. It is a fairly affordable stone thought to have many healing properties. It is an important stone in Ayurveda, where it is known as Gomed, and is associated with the planet Rahu. In short, it is believed that wearing a good-sized hessonite garnet can counter the ill effects that Rahu can cause, and it also brings luck, wealth, good health, success and longevity. In western crystal healing, it is believed to promote self respect, regulate hormones, and help us move forward in life and take on new challenges.

Rosolite is a bright pink Grossular garnet that ranges from transparent to opaque. They are mostly mined in Mexico, very rare and usually too small to be cut to gemstones.

Leuco (from the Greek leukos, meaning “white”) garnets are fairly rare, transparent, colorless Grossular garnets, hardly ever seen in jewelry.

Hydrogrossular garnets, also called Transvaal Jade, are inexpensive, opaque Grossular garnets from the Transvaal region of Africa.

Spessartite (or Spessartine) Garnets

Spessartites are my favorites! The garnets in this family come in many hues of orange, from bright sunny “juicy” hues to deep orange-red. They get their orange color from manganese, and the more iron (in the form of almandine) the stone contains, the darker the orange. Spessartite garnets are thought to help with fertility, lactose intolerance, depression and fear, strengthen the immune system, promote creativity, confidence, beneficial risk taking and rational thought. This family includes:

Spessartite (or Spessartine). First discovered in the mid-1800s in Spessart (Germany), the bright orange Spessartite was for some reason not particularly popular, except for among gemstone connoisseurs and collectors. These days, they are very popular, but in spite of that, fairly affordable, thanks to their relative abundance.

Mandarin Garnets (also known as Tangerine) are highly sought after Spessartites from Namibia. They were first discovered in 1991, and the find helped propel Spessartite garnets into the spotlight. They are darker in color and much more expensive than “regular” Spessartites.

Malaia (or Malaya) Garnets, a mix of Spessartite, Almandine and Pyrope, were first discovered in Tanzania in the 1960s. Colors range from pinkish orange to orange/brown/pink with a touch of yellow (stunning!) to rich honey hues to deep red orange, and the most priced are those described as peach colored. They are very rare (only found in the Umba Valley of East Africa) and prices range from fairly to very expensive.

There is also a variety called Imperial garnet, which is very similar to the Malaia; the difference is that the Imperial garnets come from Madagascar or the Linde province of Tanzania. They are a mix of Spessartite and Pyrope and come in colors from very pale peach to red pink, often with rutile inclusions.

Color Change garnets are amazing! A mix of Spessartite and Pyrope, they appear to change color depending on the lighting situation. Some are dramatically different, shifting from grayish green when viewed in daylight to deep red in incandescent light; some go from pale yellow in daylight to bright orange in incandescent; while others display only slight shifts in hue. It has always been said that garnets come in every color except blue, but the discovery of certain color change garnets changed that: there are some that look blue in artificial light (and purplish pink in daylight). Color change garnets are rare, popular, and expensive.

Uvarovite Garnets

The dark green Uvarovite garnets were first discovered in Russia in the 1830s and are rarely found in clear gemstone quality. More common is Uvarovite drusy (drusy is a term for a coating of crystals that have formed on the surface of a rock, giving it a sparkly, sugar-like appearance) and as drusy has become quite popular in the jewelry world, you can find quite a bit of it. It is fairly inexpensive.

Other Names

You occasionally also come across a few other garnet names such as:

Kashmarine
Taveta
Champagne
Hollandine
Gooseberry

These are not other varieties of garnets, they are names given to the stones above by traders, sellers, etc. for various reasons.

– Kashmarine is Spessartite from Pakistan
– Taveta is blue color-change garnet from Kenya’s Taita-Taveta region (pretty spectacular)
– Hollandine was the original name for Mandarin garnets
– The term “Champagne” is sometimes used to describe yellow-brown Andradite and Imperial garnets
– Gooseberry is another name for Grossular garnets – the word Grossular comes from the Latin grossularia, which means “gooseberry”.

That was a lot of information! Here, finally, is my selection of charms and pendants that showcase some of these beautiful gemstones:

1. Stunning antique (ca 1910) 14k rose gold pendant set with 95 Demantoid garnets. From Past Era Antique Jewelry.

2. 14k Rhodium-plated white gold charm with diamonds and Tsavorite garnets. By JewelryWeb

3. For once, something for the guys: a sterling silver and color change garnet tag necklace by David Yurman. The garnets are a bluish green in daylight and purple-red in incandescent light.

4. Pandora sterling silver and Melanite pendant

5. Sterling silver necklace with a checker cut Spessartite garnet charm pendant by New York artist Yvonne Raley. NOTE: I have to confess that I bought this necklace as a birthday present to myself – I just fell in love with it as soon as I saw it. But no worries, Yvonne has one more identical charm pendant and more jewelry featuring Spessartite in the works (as well as lots of other gorgeous gemstone jewelry).

6. 14k gold and Rhodolite Garnet charm by JewelryWeb

7. Grossular garnet, Tsavorite and sterling silver egg pendant by Fabergé.

8. 18k gold Trollbeads charm set with opal, amethyst, turquoise, lapis lazuli and garnet.

9. White freshwater pearl stretch bracelet with a sterling silver and Almandine garnet charm. By Amy Conway.

10. Hammered 14k gold pendant set with a Hessonite garnet by Massachusetts artist Laura Roberson.

Collage by Charms Guide
All content © Charms Guide


New Charm Jewelry From Dolce And Gabbana

Saturday, December 24th, 2011

Italian designers Dolce & Gabbana recently revealed their new fine jewelry collection, and it is stunning. We have seen charms from Dolce & Gabbana many times before, not least in this amazing wool clutch, but nothing quite like this.

The new 80-piece collection is all handmade 18k gold – white, rose and yellow –embellished with rubies, sapphires, black jade and freshwater pearls. The designers say they were inspired by their heritage, and Sicily in particular (one of the lines in the new collection is even called “Sicily”), and wanted to create jewelry that had the look and feel of heirlooms that have been passed down for generations. Italian supermodel Bianca Balti stars in the sultry ad campaign, and the pieces will retail for just under $1,000 to around $25,000.

The collection includes charm bracelets, earrings, necklaces and rings, and is indeed loaded with imagery that is classic Italian, both religious and superstitious. There are both gold and handpainted ceramic charms with pictures of the Madonna, bejeweled crosses, charm necklaces that resemble rosaries, as well as hearts, beautiful filigree, and lots of good luck charms such as horseshoes, four leaf clovers, cornicellos, etc.

Take a look:

Photos: Dolce & Gabbana
Layout: Charms Guide


December Birthstone Charms – Blue Topaz, Tanzanite, Turquoise, Zircon And Ruby

Thursday, December 8th, 2011

Birthstones in general are thought to have begun with the biblical breastplate of Aaron (around 1300 B.C.) – a garment set with 12 precious stones – and it is believed that each stone was associated with a zodiac sign (like in Vedic astrology and Ayurvedic medicine). The tradition of associating specific gemstones with particular months is rumored to have begun in Poland in the 1700s, and the list as we know it today here in the US was adopted as a standard by the National Association of Jewelers in 1912.

The Birthstones For December

While most agree on which stone(s) go with which month, there are some variations. For December, the standardized stones in the modern tradition are Tanzanite, Turquoise and Zircon. Some also include Blue Topaz, but in several ancient traditions (as well as Ayurveda), Ruby is the stone for this month. So the December birthstone color is mainly variations of blue, with the blood red ruby as an exception.

As always with gemstones, each birthstone is said to have certain properties, meanings and powers. Here is a little bit of information on each stone (scroll down to the end of the post to see my selection of a few favorite charms incorporating these stones):

Tanzanite

A mineral discovered in Tanzania as late as 1967, Tanzanite (scientifically known as blue Zoisite) didn’t become an official birthstone of December until 2002 (and is the only addition to the original list from 1912). Its natural color is a brownish red, and it takes a good bit of heat to bring out that purple/deep blue color. It was discovered after a wildfire on the slopes of Mt. Kilimanjaro by geologist Manuel D’Souza who brought it to Tiffany & Co’s attention. They re-named the Zoisite “Tanzanite” and brought it to the market with great success. It is a popular, rare and consequently expensive stone – it is only found in Tanzania and once the supply is gone, it’s gone. Tanzanite is also the anniversary gemstone for the 24th year of marriage.

Tanzanite is said to help open the heart and third eye chakras and aid in communication with the spiritual world.

Zircon

The word Zircon derives from the Arabic and means gold and color, and Zircon (not to be confused with cubic zirconia) does come in a variety of colors. Its natural hues are in the brown, orange and red family, but it also comes in green and yellow and, with the help of heat treatment, clear and blue. The clear variety has long been used as a diamond imitation, but today, the most popular hue is blue (a very pretty light pastel aqua color). Zircon can be found in many places around the world (although most are mined in Cambodia, Thailand and Vietnam), and it is a relatively inexpensive, and very popular, gemstone.

Zircon is an important stone in Ayurvedic medicine, where it is thought to bring wisdom, a noble heart, good luck, joy and wealth. It also relieves pain, helps with sleep problems, and protects the muscles, bones, nerves and organs. I think we can all use one of these! 🙂

Blue Topaz

Pure Topaz is clear as glass, but thanks to a variety of impurities, it also comes in many colors, including red, pink, brown, yellow (November’s birthstone), orange, purple, green and blue. The blue variety is the most popular one, and while it does sometimes occur naturally, the blue color is most often achieved with the help of irradiation (radiation) and heat treatment. The resulting colors range from a pale baby blue (known as Sky Blue) to the crisp Swiss blue to a nice, rich deep, almost teal, blue (called London or Super Blue). Blue Topaz, which is also the anniversary gemstone for the 4th year of marriage, is available in abundance, and as with all gemstones, the price depends on the purity and size of the stone, but in general, it is quite affordable.

Blue Topaz is said to balance one’s emotions, bring mental clarity, truth, abundance, joy and love, and help the third eye’s ability to see at a higher level. Other topaz healing uses include wounds and eating disorders.

Turquoise

Turquoise is one of the oldest known gemstones, used and appreciated for thousands of years, not only for its beauty, but also because it was believed to be a good luck talisman. Turquoise is of course turquoise, and it gets its blue-green color from copper. There are other, less common, variations on the color such as a deeper blue-green and bright green, and the color depends on the chemical composition of the earth where it is formed. The best quality Turquoise is a solid robin’s egg blue with no discolorations or veins, and most of these can be found in Iran and the southwestern part of the US. Turquoise, which is also the 11th wedding anniversary gemstone, is plentiful and affordable.

An important stone in crystal healing, turquoise is thought to protect the (physical) body, help the chi flow and combat depression. It helps with communication and creativity and strengthens the immune system. It is also believed to bring friendship, courage, a long life, happiness and good luck.

Ruby

The popular Ruby is the birthstone for December in the Ayurvedic and Traditional system. In the modern, standardized list of birthstones, it is the stone for July, and it is also the 40th wedding anniversary gemstone as well as the zodiac birthstone for Capricorn. It is the red variety of the mineral corundum (a crystalline form of aluminum oxide) – all other corundum colors are called sapphires. The red color is the result of the (natural) addition of chromium, and colors range from light pink to deep red. Most rubies are heat treated to bring out richer color and more clarity, and the darker the color, the more valuable the stone. It is an expensive gemstone (several thousand dollars per carat for top-notch stones) – a ruby bracelet owned by Marlene Dietrich sold at Sotheby’s in 1992 for $990,000 (it was admittedly jawdroppingly stunning, but still!).

Ruby stimulates the heart chakra and is said to protect the heart from emotional suffering, aid in making wise decisions, promote happiness, a positive outlook, and ideal relationships. It is also thought to help with detoxification, eye problems, heart conditions, remove infections in the blood, reduce nightmares and depression and ward off evil spirits.

Whew, that was a lot of information! Let’s move on to the visual part of this post – my handpicked selection of some of my favorite December birthstone jewelry:

Collage by Charms Guide

1. Sterling silver charm with Turquoise, Rhodonite, Mother-of-Pearl, Sugilite, and Malachite inlay. By Carolyn Pollack

2. Sterling silver and turquoise charm necklace by Dogeared

3. Sterling silver and ruby heart charm from Blue Nile

4. Sterling silver bead charm with silver and Tanzanite heart dangle by Lovelinks® by Aagaard

5. Sterling silver necklace with silver key and Blue Topaz charm by Fifilabonge

6. 14k gold and blue zircon Mother and child charm from Reeds Jewelers

7. 18k gold, topaz and onyx evil eye charm from Links of London USA

8. Charm necklace with gold dipped flower and faceted Blue Topaz from Simply Brie Designs

9. Sterling silver and blue topaz baby shoe charm from Netaya

10. Rose gold, turquoise and Swarowski crystal charm bracelet by Jaidan Designs

All content © Charms Guide


Links Of London – Charms, Bracelets, Rings, Cufflinks And More

Saturday, December 3rd, 2011

Links of London is a jewelry company based in the UK (as one would assume from the name). The company got started on what can best be described as a whim: in 1990, founder Annoushka Ducas designed some fish-shaped cuff links to be given as Christmas presents to the top customers of her Mothers’ fish business. After the holidays, she still had a number of them left, so she went into the luxury London department store Harvey Nichols and asked if they would be interested in selling them. They said yes, but only if she designed an entire collection, and Links of London was born.

Ducas started the company together with her husband John Ayton in 1991, and it became a huge success and recipient of many awards. In 2006, the couple sold Links of London for £50 million to Greek jewelry company Folli Follie, and in 2009, Annoushka Ducas started a new jewelry business – “Annoushka”.

Links of London continues its success story: their products can now be found in over 300 stores across the globe as well as online; the company was recently asked to create the official London Olympics 2012 jewelry line; and their pieces are worn by many celebrities, including Kate Middleton (or the Duchess of Cambridge as she is known these days) who wore their “Hope” white topaz earrings in the official engagement photos.

Two new collections are released each year, and there are currently 10 different lines of jewelry (each with a very distinct look), in addition to watches, a bridal collection and various gifts (frames, bags, bag charms, etc.):

The Links of London Jewelry Collections

Sweetie
The Sweetie line consists mostly of bracelets (but there are also a few necklaces, earrings, ringsand a watch) and the signature look here is rings stacked to form a bracelet or as part of one.

Friendship
As you would assume, this line consists of friendship bracelets, made from sterling silver and threads in various colors. There are single and double-wrap versions, most have silver “pins”, some have other silver designs like hearts, strawberries, and a tad startling, skulls. One really fun one that caught my attention is the Wimbledon Tennis Ball Friendship bracelet, which is made from tiny silver tennis balls woven together by thread in that neon yellow-greenish color of tennis balls.

Effervescence
This collection is made up of silver and gold “bubbles” and includes some really substantial bracelets, a few friendship ‘bubble bracelets” (my favorites), rings, earrings and necklaces.

20/20
The 20/20 line consists of interlocking rings in various designs and sizes.

Hope
The Hope collection is designed to emulate stone shapes and includes earrings, rings, pendants, a charm, and bracelets.

Camden
Camden is all about skulls – woven into bracelets, as pendants, charms and cufflinks.

Signature
The signature collection is one of the most understated and consists of charms, necklaces, earrings, bracelets and a ring in shiny silver with moonstones in gorgeous shades of orange and grey.

Silver Palm
Another discreet collection, this one inspired by bamboo. It’s all sterling silver and includes necklaces, earrings, bracelets and rings.

Love Note
Love note features hearts, hearts and more hearts in white, yellow and rose gold, and the charms have amethysts and amazonites.

2012
The 2012 collection features the Olympics jewelry – charms, bracelets, necklaces, cufflinks, key rings, earrings, charm beads, rings and more – most celebrating Britain and/or sports in some way.

Feed Bracelets
A new line of friendship bracelets called “Feed” was recently launched. The bracelets are made from different colored cords with a single sterling silver bead in various shapes (water drop, dove, heart, etc.), each supporting a different hunger-fighting program through the FEED foundation. And if you happen to be in London, you can get your hands on one design with an 18k gold heart that is sold only at Harrods and supports food for kids in high HIV/AIDS areas.

Links of London for Men

Cufflinks
As you would expect from a company that got started thanks to a pair of cufflinks, the men’s jewelry include a quite extensive cufflink collection in fun, unusual and manly designs 🙂 such as skulls, moustaches, barbells, etc. The moustache cufflinks were created specifically for “Movember” – a yearly worldwide charity event that help raise money for research specific to men’s health issues, such as prostate cancer, etc. – and 10% of the sales proceeds are donated to Movember.

The Men’s collection also include several friendship bracelets, rings, necklaces, watches and accessories (wallets, collar bones, etc.).

Links of London for Kids

There is also a line for kids, which includes jewelry (sterling silver charm bracelets sized for babies and young children), gift items (keepsake boxes, etc.), and these darling little miniature animal couples, each with the most adorable names: Harry and Helena Hedgehog, Percy and Patricia Pig, Orlando and Olivia Ostrich, etc. Too cute!

Links of London Charms

And last, but not least, there is of course their extensive collection of charms – which currently consists of around 350 designs. The charms are made from sterling silver and 18k gold, many are enameled, some have precious stones (diamonds, topaz, sapphires, etc.) and the designs range from cheeky to chic.

All photos: Links of London USA

All content © Charms Guide


Sundance Charm Necklaces And Bracelets

Saturday, November 26th, 2011

I have always loved pretty much everything I see in the Sundance catalog (and have been the lucky recipient of many a birthday and Christmas present from there). I just got the latest one in the mail and was extra delighted to see that there are more charm necklaces and bracelets than I have seen from them in one catalog before. There is definitely a trend going on right now with personalized jewelry in general, and charm necklaces in particular, and there are some of those in this catalog as well.

For those who haven’t heard of them before (oh, are you in for a treat!), Sundance is a jewelry, clothing and home decor company in Utah, founded by Robert Redford (yes, the actor) in 1969. What started as a small local store has grown into a major mail order company (but they still have three stores: one in Utah, one in California and one in Colorado). The first catalog was sent out in 1989 to a small group of people – today the company publishes 35 catalogs/year and they are sent out to millions of customers. And the Sundance Group now also includes the film festival, TV channel, a resort, Sundance Cinemas, and the Sundance Institute.

What I really like about their products (aside from how beautiful they are in their rustic, slightly rough and bohemian way) is that most are handmade by (amazing) artisans. And you can read their bios on the Sundance website, so you get to know a little bit about the person who made your piece of jewelry.

Anyway, here are some of the gorgeous charm necklaces and bracelets from the latest catalog that are definitely going on my wish list (which you can set up right on their site and then share with potential gift-givers. 🙂 )

Collage: Charms Guide
Photos: Sundance Catalog


The Charm It Bracelet

Friday, August 5th, 2011

Charm It charms first saw the light of day in 2000. The jewelry line is a part of High IntenCity, a family owned company founded by Renee Levy in 1993. Entrepreneurial from a very young age, Renee started designing hair accessories and jewelry already when she was in elementary school and started her first company when she was a high school freshman.

Today, she is the president of High IntenCity, and Charm It has celebrated its 10th anniversary. The jewelry is geared towards young girls, tweens and teens, and the charms are colorful, adorable, and very “girly”. They are all clip-on, so even the youngest wearers are able to easily change charms and move them around as they please.

There are several different collections of charms: The Signature line, which includes a huge variety, from a wedge of cheese to a little pink VW bug with a peace sign; the Disney charms, which obviously consists of Disney characters; the Hello Kitty which features Kitty in a variety of sizes and settings (Beauty Queen, Birthday Cake, Rainbow Kitty, etc.); and the Contest Charms.

What are the Contest Charms? For their 10th anniversary, the company held a contest where girls entered by submitting designs (drawn on paper) that they would like to see made into charms. 36 winners were chosen, and as you can imagine, the collection consists of everything under the sun. Some of my favorites include the “I’m A Taco” (where 10% of the proceeds go to the World Wildlife Fund), the “Be Green Tree” (10% goes to Kids for Saving Earth) and the Cow (also supporting WWF).

All the charms are made from base metal, enamel and resin, and are very affordable – they retail for $5.00 – $6.00.

There are 14 bracelet designs to choose from (ranging in price from $7.00 – $16.00), all made from base metal, some with acrylic and enamel as well. They range from plain chain links to rainbow colored smiley faces, safety pins, frosted cupcakes, and my favorite, the pink flower bracelet. They also have 2 necklaces – one metal colored and one rainbow colored chain, which you can also hang charms from.

And since they’re all clip-on, the charms can go on anything – keychains, bags, zippers, etc. A cute idea is to add one or two to a ribbon around a gift, which both makes it two (three) gifts in one, and really unique gift packaging.

All photos: Charm It